Copyright and Cease and Desist Letters

When Justin Leonard created his site infomercialscams.com, he probably anticipated that he’d attract some unwanted legal attention. By letting people post their infomercial horror stories and calling out the con artists of late night, he was bound to ruffle some feathers, including a few lawyers.

However, he probably didn’t expect any of that attention to be in the area of copyright. Trademark and defamation perhaps, but not copyright.

But that is exactly what has happened to him and the blame is not on him or anything he posted on his site, but rather, an overzealous attorney who tried to use copyright law to stiffle completely legitimate free speech.

The result is that what started as a cookie-cutter defamation issue has now evolved into a copyright controversy that borders on being a laughingstock.

The Story So Far

On September 9 of this year, Leonard received a letter from the law firm Dozier Internet Law, P.C. regarding issues of alleged defamation. The attorney, Donald E. Morris Esq., was representing DirectBuy (noisy site), a “buy at home” company that has received many bad reviews on Leonard’s site.

On the surface, it seemed to be just another defamation dispute. DirectBuy took issue with some of the reviews on Leonard’s sites and demanded that they be taken down and that DirectBuy be compensated for costs. This type of dispute, unfortunately, happens pretty regularly.

But it is the last paragraph of the long, legally dubious, cease and desist letter (PDF) that has gotten the most attention. There, Morris said the following:

“Please be aware that this letter is copyright by our law firm, and you are not authorized to republish this in any manner. Use of this letter in a posting, in full or in part, will subject you to further legal causes of action.”

In short, in an attempt to keep lid on the actions of DirectBuy and their law firm, Morris threatened to go after Leonard for copyright infringement if he posted the letter.

Fortunately, Leonard was unbowed and he sought the counsel of Public Citizen, a non-profit consumer advocacy group. The group posted the letter on their site, in direct violation of Morris’ order, and also posted a strongly-worded reply to it.

What happens next remains to be seen.

The Copyright Issues Within

There is little doubt that a cease and desist letter is protected under copyright law. It is a creative work of expression, this one more perhaps creative than most, and is fixated into a tangible medium of expression. It certainly is protected and the fact it is a cease and desist letter does not change that.

However, posting a cease and desist letter also has a very strong fair use case. Consider the four factors for a moment:

  1. The use would be for commentary or criticism of the actions of the party. It would also be likely considered transformative as it would be a part of a larger work criticizing the sending of the letter.
  2. A cease and desist letter would be likely considered unpublished, affording it at least some protections.
  3. One would likely be using the whole work though Morris’ threat specified “in full or in part”. Using the full work would be a minor strike against fair use, using just part of it wlikely would be a strike for it.
  4. Since the work has no commercial value, the market for it can not be damaged. Though I suppose one could use the cease and desist to create a template and sell it, that would be a stretch and it doesn’t seem to apply well to this case.

Granted, it is completely impossible to tell whether or not a use is fair until a judge and/or jury get ahold of the case, but considering the two most important factors, the first and the fourth, strongly favor fair use and the secondary factors, the second and third, only slightly favor infringement, it seems at least likely that the use would be found fair.

Other Hurdles

Of course, a fair use defense assumes that the case even makes it to court. The odds of that happening are slim to none.

First, in order to sue in a Federal court, the letter will have to be registered with the United States Copyright Office. That is unlikely to be the case right now and it seems unlikely that they will take that step in the future. Furthermore, if they do register later, they will only be able to claim statutory damages that occurred after the submission.

The second problem is that, even with statutory damages it would likely not be financially viable. Without being able to prove that the infringement was willful, damages will be at the very low end of the spectrum.

Finally, I doubt any judge or jury would allow copyright law to be used a club to silence free speech. Companies may try, but when the cases go to court, there is a very strong record of courts coming down in favor of the little guy.

Furthermore, even if DirectBuy and Morris make good on their threat to take the case to another country, the odds of them being able to collect on any judgment are slim to none. Any positive ruling in Canada or elsewhere would be, at best, a pyrrhic victory.

Conclusions

Although I am a big of a supporter of copyright protection (within reason), I am an even bigger supporter of free speech rights.

Using copyright law to club free speech only hurts both free speech and copyright. Not only does it hurt your case legally, but it also hurts copyright law in general by turning public opinion even farther against it.

In short, if you get a cease and desist letter and feel the need to post, seek out legal counsel and follow their advice. Odds are that there aren’t any major issues with it, but it would still be better to be safe than sorry.

On the other hand, in something that relates to readers of this site, if you send out cease and desist letters, don’t put anything in there you don’t want posted on the Web. There is little stopping someone from posting such a notice with relative impugnity. Chilling Effects already posts DMCA notices on their site with few legal issues and others can likely do the same.

The bottom line is, when you out there, defend your rights but always be one of the good guys. Don’t do anything you would be ashamed of the world knowing about.

After all, it is a public Internet and word has a way of getting around.

Hat Tip: William Patry
Special Thanks: Blog Law Guy for his input

81 comments
Swivelrecliners
Swivelrecliners

I have noticed a lot of companies lately are sending cease and desist letters trying to threaten people to give up their domain name. A lot of these people get scared and do it with no proof of copy write from the individual sending the letter.

Swivelrecliners
Swivelrecliners

I have noticed a lot of companies lately are sending cease and desist letters trying to threaten people to give up their domain name. A lot of these people get scared and do it with no proof of copy write from the individual sending the letter.

Swivelrecliners
Swivelrecliners

I have noticed a lot of companies lately are sending cease and desist letters trying to threaten people to give up their domain name. A lot of these people get scared and do it with no proof of copy write from the individual sending the letter.

Jonathan Bailey
Jonathan Bailey

TN: I read the entry. I don't think that many doubted that cease and desist letters could be copyright protected, the question is whether or not it is an infringement to post them. I've seen some VERY creative C&Ds in my time so it doesn't shock me that they have all that is required to be protected by copyright.

He says its not fair use, other attorneys, including those not affiliated with the groups he lists, feel otherwise. That's the nature of the beast. I say something is fair use, someone else disagrees, we go to court and it gets fought out. Until a court actually rules on the infringement element of posting such letters, we won't really know.

Even then, every case will have to be decided on a per use basis. Howevever, the Streisand effect basically makes it so that, if a company is attacked by lies, trying to bury them with C&Ds is a bad idea. The only way to counter a lie is with truth.

That's my experience at least and that seems to be what Mr. Dozier is yet to figure out. The law and legal threats are not the cure for all business ills.

Jonathan Bailey
Jonathan Bailey

TN: I read the entry. I don't think that many doubted that cease and desist letters could be copyright protected, the question is whether or not it is an infringement to post them. I've seen some VERY creative C&Ds in my time so it doesn't shock me that they have all that is required to be protected by copyright.
He says its not fair use, other attorneys, including those not affiliated with the groups he lists, feel otherwise. That's the nature of the beast. I say something is fair use, someone else disagrees, we go to court and it gets fought out. Until a court actually rules on the infringement element of posting such letters, we won't really know.
Even then, every case will have to be decided on a per use basis. Howevever, the Streisand effect basically makes it so that, if a company is attacked by lies, trying to bury them with C&Ds is a bad idea. The only way to counter a lie is with truth.
That's my experience at least and that seems to be what Mr. Dozier is yet to figure out. The law and legal threats are not the cure for all business ills.

Jonathan Bailey
Jonathan Bailey

TN: I read the entry. I don't think that many doubted that cease and desist letters could be copyright protected, the question is whether or not it is an infringement to post them. I've seen some VERY creative C&Ds in my time so it doesn't shock me that they have all that is required to be protected by copyright. He says its not fair use, other attorneys, including those not affiliated with the groups he lists, feel otherwise. That's the nature of the beast. I say something is fair use, someone else disagrees, we go to court and it gets fought out. Until a court actually rules on the infringement element of posting such letters, we won't really know. Even then, every case will have to be decided on a per use basis. Howevever, the Streisand effect basically makes it so that, if a company is attacked by lies, trying to bury them with C&Ds is a bad idea. The only way to counter a lie is with truth. That's my experience at least and that seems to be what Mr. Dozier is yet to figure out. The law and legal threats are not the cure for all business ills.

Jonathan Bailey
Jonathan Bailey

TN: I read the entry. I don't think that many doubted that cease and desist letters could be copyright protected, the question is whether or not it is an infringement to post them. I've seen some VERY creative C&Ds; in my time so it doesn't shock me that they have all that is required to be protected by copyright.

He says its not fair use, other attorneys, including those not affiliated with the groups he lists, feel otherwise. That's the nature of the beast. I say something is fair use, someone else disagrees, we go to court and it gets fought out. Until a court actually rules on the infringement element of posting such letters, we won't really know.

Even then, every case will have to be decided on a per use basis. Howevever, the Streisand effect basically makes it so that, if a company is attacked by lies, trying to bury them with C&Ds; is a bad idea. The only way to counter a lie is with truth.

That's my experience at least and that seems to be what Mr. Dozier is yet to figure out. The law and legal threats are not the cure for all business ills.

Jonathan Bailey
Jonathan Bailey

TN: I read the entry. I don't think that many doubted that cease and desist letters could be copyright protected, the question is whether or not it is an infringement to post them. I've seen some VERY creative C&Ds; in my time so it doesn't shock me that they have all that is required to be protected by copyright.He says its not fair use, other attorneys, including those not affiliated with the groups he lists, feel otherwise. That's the nature of the beast. I say something is fair use, someone else disagrees, we go to court and it gets fought out. Until a court actually rules on the infringement element of posting such letters, we won't really know.Even then, every case will have to be decided on a per use basis. Howevever, the Streisand effect basically makes it so that, if a company is attacked by lies, trying to bury them with C&Ds; is a bad idea. The only way to counter a lie is with truth.That's my experience at least and that seems to be what Mr. Dozier is yet to figure out. The law and legal threats are not the cure for all business ills.

Jonathan Bailey
Jonathan Bailey

TN: I read the entry. I don't think that many doubted that cease and desist letters could be copyright protected, the question is whether or not it is an infringement to post them. I've seen some VERY creative C&Ds in my time so it doesn't shock me that they have all that is required to be protected by copyright.He says its not fair use, other attorneys, including those not affiliated with the groups he lists, feel otherwise. That's the nature of the beast. I say something is fair use, someone else disagrees, we go to court and it gets fought out. Until a court actually rules on the infringement element of posting such letters, we won't really know.Even then, every case will have to be decided on a per use basis. Howevever, the Streisand effect basically makes it so that, if a company is attacked by lies, trying to bury them with C&Ds is a bad idea. The only way to counter a lie is with truth.That's my experience at least and that seems to be what Mr. Dozier is yet to figure out. The law and legal threats are not the cure for all business ills.

Jonathan Bailey
Jonathan Bailey

TN: I read the entry. I don't think that many doubted that cease and desist letters could be copyright protected, the question is whether or not it is an infringement to post them. I've seen some VERY creative C&Ds in my time so it doesn't shock me that they have all that is required to be protected by copyright.He says its not fair use, other attorneys, including those not affiliated with the groups he lists, feel otherwise. That's the nature of the beast. I say something is fair use, someone else disagrees, we go to court and it gets fought out. Until a court actually rules on the infringement element of posting such letters, we won't really know.Even then, every case will have to be decided on a per use basis. Howevever, the Streisand effect basically makes it so that, if a company is attacked by lies, trying to bury them with C&Ds is a bad idea. The only way to counter a lie is with truth.That's my experience at least and that seems to be what Mr. Dozier is yet to figure out. The law and legal threats are not the cure for all business ills.

Jonathan Bailey
Jonathan Bailey

John: I'm glad that I waited a few days to respond to your comment. I only wish I had known this morning, before I recorded my podcast, what I knew now.

First, this is not your case and the ruling does not apply, in any way, to the case discussed above. The matter to which you are referring is completely unrelated other than having some similar facts.

Second, the could did NOT rule that the posting of a cease and desist letter was an infringement. All that was ruled is that there was prima facie evidence of a potential infringement, which was all that was needed to obtain a subpoena. That, in turn, was established by the sole act of obtaining a USCO registration, something you yourself admit is a "rubber stamp" process.

Let us be clear here. There was no infringement ruled, no damages were awarded and all that was obtained was a subpeona to get an IP address (as well as any other information) of the person who posted the cease and desist letter

I have to say that I was suspicious when your announcement contained a truncated version of the decision. At eight pages it wasn't particularly long and judges decisions are generally in the public domain as a work of the Federal government.

You can read the full decision, along with much better analysis of it, here:

http://www.joegratz.net/archives/2008/01/26/federal-court-doesnt-quite-recognize-copyright-in-cd-letter/

And yes, Mr. Gratz is an attorney.

It is also worth noting that the decision was a split verdict. They obtained the right to obtain information about the individual who posted the letter, but not the intended target, the person posting the allegedly defamatory information. This ruling was not lopsided by any stretch and could easily be viewed as a defeat.

Finally, you'll note that I said above that I have "little doubt" that a cease and desist letter is protected, something I stand by, but what is much more debatable is whether or not posting it is an infringement. I think a strong fair use argument can be made, but such an argument was NOT available in this case.

There are still many unanswered questions in this case and on this topic. The hardest questions remain.

As I see it, this issue is no more resolved now than it was before the decision was filed. Others seem to agree.

Thank you very much for your comment.

Jonathan Bailey
Jonathan Bailey

John: I'm glad that I waited a few days to respond to your comment. I only wish I had known this morning, before I recorded my podcast, what I knew now.
First, this is not your case and the ruling does not apply, in any way, to the case discussed above. The matter to which you are referring is completely unrelated other than having some similar facts.
Second, the could did NOT rule that the posting of a cease and desist letter was an infringement. All that was ruled is that there was prima facie evidence of a potential infringement, which was all that was needed to obtain a subpoena. That, in turn, was established by the sole act of obtaining a USCO registration, something you yourself admit is a "rubber stamp" process.
Let us be clear here. There was no infringement ruled, no damages were awarded and all that was obtained was a subpeona to get an IP address (as well as any other information) of the person who posted the cease and desist letter
I have to say that I was suspicious when your announcement contained a truncated version of the decision. At eight pages it wasn't particularly long and judges decisions are generally in the public domain as a work of the Federal government.
You can read the full decision, along with much better analysis of it, here:
http://www.joegratz.net/archives/2008/01/26/federal-court-doesnt-quite-recognize-copyright-in-cd-letter/
And yes, Mr. Gratz is an attorney.
It is also worth noting that the decision was a split verdict. They obtained the right to obtain information about the individual who posted the letter, but not the intended target, the person posting the allegedly defamatory information. This ruling was not lopsided by any stretch and could easily be viewed as a defeat.
Finally, you'll note that I said above that I have "little doubt" that a cease and desist letter is protected, something I stand by, but what is much more debatable is whether or not posting it is an infringement. I think a strong fair use argument can be made, but such an argument was NOT available in this case.
There are still many unanswered questions in this case and on this topic. The hardest questions remain.
As I see it, this issue is no more resolved now than it was before the decision was filed. Others seem to agree.
Thank you very much for your comment.

Jonathan Bailey
Jonathan Bailey

John: I'm glad that I waited a few days to respond to your comment. I only wish I had known this morning, before I recorded my podcast, what I knew now. First, this is not your case and the ruling does not apply, in any way, to the case discussed above. The matter to which you are referring is completely unrelated other than having some similar facts. Second, the could did NOT rule that the posting of a cease and desist letter was an infringement. All that was ruled is that there was prima facie evidence of a potential infringement, which was all that was needed to obtain a subpoena. That, in turn, was established by the sole act of obtaining a USCO registration, something you yourself admit is a "rubber stamp" process. Let us be clear here. There was no infringement ruled, no damages were awarded and all that was obtained was a subpeona to get an IP address (as well as any other information) of the person who posted the cease and desist letter I have to say that I was suspicious when your announcement contained a truncated version of the decision. At eight pages it wasn't particularly long and judges decisions are generally in the public domain as a work of the Federal government. You can read the full decision, along with much better analysis of it, here: http://www.joegratz.net/archives/2008/01/26/federal-court-doesnt-quite-recognize-copyright-in-cd-letter/ And yes, Mr. Gratz is an attorney. It is also worth noting that the decision was a split verdict. They obtained the right to obtain information about the individual who posted the letter, but not the intended target, the person posting the allegedly defamatory information. This ruling was not lopsided by any stretch and could easily be viewed as a defeat. Finally, you'll note that I said above that I have "little doubt" that a cease and desist letter is protected, something I stand by, but what is much more debatable is whether or not posting it is an infringement. I think a strong fair use argument can be made, but such an argument was NOT available in this case. There are still many unanswered questions in this case and on this topic. The hardest questions remain. As I see it, this issue is no more resolved now than it was before the decision was filed. Others seem to agree. Thank you very much for your comment.

Jonathan Bailey
Jonathan Bailey

John: I'm glad that I waited a few days to respond to your comment. I only wish I had known this morning, before I recorded my podcast, what I knew now.

First, this is not your case and the ruling does not apply, in any way, to the case discussed above. The matter to which you are referring is completely unrelated other than having some similar facts.

Second, the could did NOT rule that the posting of a cease and desist letter was an infringement. All that was ruled is that there was prima facie evidence of a potential infringement, which was all that was needed to obtain a subpoena. That, in turn, was established by the sole act of obtaining a USCO registration, something you yourself admit is a "rubber stamp" process.

Let us be clear here. There was no infringement ruled, no damages were awarded and all that was obtained was a subpeona to get an IP address (as well as any other information) of the person who posted the cease and desist letter

I have to say that I was suspicious when your announcement contained a truncated version of the decision. At eight pages it wasn't particularly long and judges decisions are generally in the public domain as a work of the Federal government.

You can read the full decision, along with much better analysis of it, here:

http://www.joegratz.net/archives/2008/01/26/fed...

And yes, Mr. Gratz is an attorney.

It is also worth noting that the decision was a split verdict. They obtained the right to obtain information about the individual who posted the letter, but not the intended target, the person posting the allegedly defamatory information. This ruling was not lopsided by any stretch and could easily be viewed as a defeat.

Finally, you'll note that I said above that I have "little doubt" that a cease and desist letter is protected, something I stand by, but what is much more debatable is whether or not posting it is an infringement. I think a strong fair use argument can be made, but such an argument was NOT available in this case.

There are still many unanswered questions in this case and on this topic. The hardest questions remain.

As I see it, this issue is no more resolved now than it was before the decision was filed. Others seem to agree.

Thank you very much for your comment.

Jonathan Bailey
Jonathan Bailey

John: I'm glad that I waited a few days to respond to your comment. I only wish I had known this morning, before I recorded my podcast, what I knew now. First, this is not your case and the ruling does not apply, in any way, to the case discussed above. The matter to which you are referring is completely unrelated other than having some similar facts. Second, the could did NOT rule that the posting of a cease and desist letter was an infringement. All that was ruled is that there was prima facie evidence of a potential infringement, which was all that was needed to obtain a subpoena. That, in turn, was established by the sole act of obtaining a USCO registration, something you yourself admit is a "rubber stamp" process.Let us be clear here. There was no infringement ruled, no damages were awarded and all that was obtained was a subpeona to get an IP address (as well as any other information) of the person who posted the cease and desist letterI have to say that I was suspicious when your announcement contained a truncated version of the decision. At eight pages it wasn't particularly long and judges decisions are generally in the public domain as a work of the Federal government.You can read the full decision, along with much better analysis of it, here:http://www.joegratz.net/archives/2008/01/26/fed...And yes, Mr. Gratz is an attorney.It is also worth noting that the decision was a split verdict. They obtained the right to obtain information about the individual who posted the letter, but not the intended target, the person posting the allegedly defamatory information. This ruling was not lopsided by any stretch and could easily be viewed as a defeat.Finally, you'll note that I said above that I have "little doubt" that a cease and desist letter is protected, something I stand by, but what is much more debatable is whether or not posting it is an infringement. I think a strong fair use argument can be made, but such an argument was NOT available in this case.There are still many unanswered questions in this case and on this topic. The hardest questions remain.As I see it, this issue is no more resolved now than it was before the decision was filed. Others seem to agree. Thank you very much for your comment.

Jonathan Bailey
Jonathan Bailey

John: I'm glad that I waited a few days to respond to your comment. I only wish I had known this morning, before I recorded my podcast, what I knew now. First, this is not your case and the ruling does not apply, in any way, to the case discussed above. The matter to which you are referring is completely unrelated other than having some similar facts. Second, the could did NOT rule that the posting of a cease and desist letter was an infringement. All that was ruled is that there was prima facie evidence of a potential infringement, which was all that was needed to obtain a subpoena. That, in turn, was established by the sole act of obtaining a USCO registration, something you yourself admit is a "rubber stamp" process.Let us be clear here. There was no infringement ruled, no damages were awarded and all that was obtained was a subpeona to get an IP address (as well as any other information) of the person who posted the cease and desist letterI have to say that I was suspicious when your announcement contained a truncated version of the decision. At eight pages it wasn't particularly long and judges decisions are generally in the public domain as a work of the Federal government.You can read the full decision, along with much better analysis of it, here:<a href="http://www.joegratz.net/archives/2008/01/26/federal-court-doesnt-quite-recognize-copyright-in-cd-letter/ ">http://www.joegratz.net/archives/2008/01/26/feder...

And yes, Mr. Gratz is an attorney.It is also worth noting that the decision was a split verdict. They obtained the right to obtain information about the individual who posted the letter, but not the intended target, the person posting the allegedly defamatory information. This ruling was not lopsided by any stretch and could easily be viewed as a defeat.Finally, you'll note that I said above that I have "little doubt" that a cease and desist letter is protected, something I stand by, but what is much more debatable is whether or not posting it is an infringement. I think a strong fair use argument can be made, but such an argument was NOT available in this case.There are still many unanswered questions in this case and on this topic. The hardest questions remain.As I see it, this issue is no more resolved now than it was before the decision was filed. Others seem to agree. Thank you very much for your comment.

Jonathan Bailey
Jonathan Bailey

John: I'm glad that I waited a few days to respond to your comment. I only wish I had known this morning, before I recorded my podcast, what I knew now. First, this is not your case and the ruling does not apply, in any way, to the case discussed above. The matter to which you are referring is completely unrelated other than having some similar facts. Second, the could did NOT rule that the posting of a cease and desist letter was an infringement. All that was ruled is that there was prima facie evidence of a potential infringement, which was all that was needed to obtain a subpoena. That, in turn, was established by the sole act of obtaining a USCO registration, something you yourself admit is a "rubber stamp" process.Let us be clear here. There was no infringement ruled, no damages were awarded and all that was obtained was a subpeona to get an IP address (as well as any other information) of the person who posted the cease and desist letterI have to say that I was suspicious when your announcement contained a truncated version of the decision. At eight pages it wasn't particularly long and judges decisions are generally in the public domain as a work of the Federal government.You can read the full decision, along with much better analysis of it, here:<a href="http://www.joegratz.net/archives/2008/01/26/federal-court-doesnt-quite-recognize-copyright-in-cd-letter/
">http://www.joegratz.net/archives/2008/01/26/feder...
And yes, Mr. Gratz is an attorney.It is also worth noting that the decision was a split verdict. They obtained the right to obtain information about the individual who posted the letter, but not the intended target, the person posting the allegedly defamatory information. This ruling was not lopsided by any stretch and could easily be viewed as a defeat.Finally, you'll note that I said above that I have "little doubt" that a cease and desist letter is protected, something I stand by, but what is much more debatable is whether or not posting it is an infringement. I think a strong fair use argument can be made, but such an argument was NOT available in this case.There are still many unanswered questions in this case and on this topic. The hardest questions remain.As I see it, this issue is no more resolved now than it was before the decision was filed. Others seem to agree. Thank you very much for your comment.

Jonathan Bailey
Jonathan Bailey

John: I'm glad that I waited a few days to respond to your comment. I only wish I had known this morning, before I recorded my podcast, what I knew now. First, this is not your case and the ruling does not apply, in any way, to the case discussed above. The matter to which you are referring is completely unrelated other than having some similar facts. Second, the could did NOT rule that the posting of a cease and desist letter was an infringement. All that was ruled is that there was prima facie evidence of a potential infringement, which was all that was needed to obtain a subpoena. That, in turn, was established by the sole act of obtaining a USCO registration, something you yourself admit is a "rubber stamp" process.Let us be clear here. There was no infringement ruled, no damages were awarded and all that was obtained was a subpeona to get an IP address (as well as any other information) of the person who posted the cease and desist letterI have to say that I was suspicious when your announcement contained a truncated version of the decision. At eight pages it wasn't particularly long and judges decisions are generally in the public domain as a work of the Federal government.You can read the full decision, along with much better analysis of it, here:<a href="http://www.joegratz.net/archives/2008/01/26/federal-court-doesnt-quite-recognize-copyright-in-cd-letter/ ">http://www.joegratz.net/archives/2008/01/26/feder... And yes, Mr. Gratz is an attorney.It is also worth noting that the decision was a split verdict. They obtained the right to obtain information about the individual who posted the letter, but not the intended target, the person posting the allegedly defamatory information. This ruling was not lopsided by any stretch and could easily be viewed as a defeat.Finally, you'll note that I said above that I have "little doubt" that a cease and desist letter is protected, something I stand by, but what is much more debatable is whether or not posting it is an infringement. I think a strong fair use argument can be made, but such an argument was NOT available in this case.There are still many unanswered questions in this case and on this topic. The hardest questions remain.As I see it, this issue is no more resolved now than it was before the decision was filed. Others seem to agree. Thank you very much for your comment.

John W Dozier Jr., Esq.
John W Dozier Jr., Esq.

Remember that Bill Patry of Google fame and Public Citizen have an agenda that is all about expanding the scope of free speech and limiting copyright protection, and they attempt to do so by attacking speech with which they do not agree. I would hate to see your readers think the practice of posting cease and desist letters is okay.

In the first decision on this point in the US, the Idaho US District Court has ruled that there IS copyright protection in a lawyer cease and desist. I have blogged on the decision on the Dozier Internet Law Blog , it is being covered by Yahoo news, and you can see the Dozier Internet Law court decision and commentary and judge for yourself.

The liberal public interest lawyers who encouraged and organized the many comments on this point from non-lawyers are conspicuously silent on the decision, of course. The least they could do is go back to their many netizens and let them know their advice needs to be "recalled". You would think that notion is not a foreign concept to Ralph Nader and his "Public Citizen" lawyers.

John W Dozier Jr., Esq.
John W Dozier Jr., Esq.

Remember that Bill Patry of Google fame and Public Citizen have an agenda that is all about expanding the scope of free speech and limiting copyright protection, and they attempt to do so by attacking speech with which they do not agree. I would hate to see your readers think the practice of posting cease and desist letters is okay.

In the first decision on this point in the US, the Idaho US District Court has ruled that there IS copyright protection in a lawyer cease and desist. I have blogged on the decision on the Dozier Internet Law Blog , it is being covered by Yahoo news, and you can see the Dozier Internet Law court decision and commentary and judge for yourself.

The liberal public interest lawyers who encouraged and organized the many comments on this point from non-lawyers are conspicuously silent on the decision, of course. The least they could do is go back to their many netizens and let them know their advice needs to be "recalled". You would think that notion is not a foreign concept to Ralph Nader and his "Public Citizen" lawyers.

John W Dozier Jr., Esq.
John W Dozier Jr., Esq.

Remember that Bill Patry of Google fame and Public Citizen have an agenda that is all about expanding the scope of free speech and limiting copyright protection, and they attempt to do so by attacking speech with which they do not agree. I would hate to see your readers think the practice of posting cease and desist letters is okay.In the first decision on this point in the US, the Idaho US District Court has ruled that there IS copyright protection in a lawyer cease and desist. I have blogged on the decision on the Dozier Internet Law Blog , it is being covered by Yahoo news, and you can see the Dozier Internet Law court decision and commentary and judge for yourself. The liberal public interest lawyers who encouraged and organized the many comments on this point from non-lawyers are conspicuously silent on the decision, of course. The least they could do is go back to their many netizens and let them know their advice needs to be "recalled". You would think that notion is not a foreign concept to Ralph Nader and his "Public Citizen" lawyers.

John W Dozier Jr., E
John W Dozier Jr., E

Remember that Bill Patry of Google fame and Public Citizen have an agenda that is all about expanding the scope of free speech and limiting copyright protection, and they attempt to do so by attacking speech with which they do not agree. I would hate to see your readers think the practice of posting cease and desist letters is okay.
In the first decision on this point in the US, the Idaho US District Court has ruled that there IS copyright protection in a lawyer cease and desist. I have blogged on the decision on the Dozier Internet Law Blog , it is being covered by Yahoo news, and you can see the Dozier Internet Law court decision and commentary and judge for yourself.
The liberal public interest lawyers who encouraged and organized the many comments on this point from non-lawyers are conspicuously silent on the decision, of course. The least they could do is go back to their many netizens and let them know their advice needs to be "recalled". You would think that notion is not a foreign concept to Ralph Nader and his "Public Citizen" lawyers.

John W Dozier Jr., E
John W Dozier Jr., E

Remember that Bill Patry of Google fame and Public Citizen have an agenda that is all about expanding the scope of free speech and limiting copyright protection, and they attempt to do so by attacking speech with which they do not agree. I would hate to see your readers think the practice of posting cease and desist letters is okay. In the first decision on this point in the US, the Idaho US District Court has ruled that there IS copyright protection in a lawyer cease and desist. I have blogged on the decision on the Dozier Internet Law Blog , it is being covered by Yahoo news, and you can see the Dozier Internet Law court decision and commentary and judge for yourself. The liberal public interest lawyers who encouraged and organized the many comments on this point from non-lawyers are conspicuously silent on the decision, of course. The least they could do is go back to their many netizens and let them know their advice needs to be "recalled". You would think that notion is not a foreign concept to Ralph Nader and his "Public Citizen" lawyers.

John W Dozier Jr., E
John W Dozier Jr., E

Remember that Bill Patry of Google fame and Public Citizen have an agenda that is all about expanding the scope of free speech and limiting copyright protection, and they attempt to do so by attacking speech with which they do not agree. I would hate to see your readers think the practice of posting cease and desist letters is okay.In the first decision on this point in the US, the Idaho US District Court has ruled that there IS copyright protection in a lawyer cease and desist. I have blogged on the decision on the Dozier Internet Law Blog , it is being covered by Yahoo news, and you can see the Dozier Internet Law court decision and commentary and judge for yourself. The liberal public interest lawyers who encouraged and organized the many comments on this point from non-lawyers are conspicuously silent on the decision, of course. The least they could do is go back to their many netizens and let them know their advice needs to be "recalled". You would think that notion is not a foreign concept to Ralph Nader and his "Public Citizen" lawyers.

John W Dozier Jr., E
John W Dozier Jr., E

Remember that Bill Patry of Google fame and Public Citizen have an agenda that is all about expanding the scope of free speech and limiting copyright protection, and they attempt to do so by attacking speech with which they do not agree. I would hate to see your readers think the practice of posting cease and desist letters is okay.

In the first decision on this point in the US, the Idaho US District Court has ruled that there IS copyright protection in a lawyer cease and desist. I have blogged on the decision on the Dozier Internet Law Blog , it is being covered by Yahoo news, and you can see the Dozier Internet Law court decision and commentary and judge for yourself.

The liberal public interest lawyers who encouraged and organized the many comments on this point from non-lawyers are conspicuously silent on the decision, of course. The least they could do is go back to their many netizens and let them know their advice needs to be "recalled". You would think that notion is not a foreign concept to Ralph Nader and his "Public Citizen" lawyers.

John W Dozier Jr., E
John W Dozier Jr., E

Remember that Bill Patry of Google fame and Public Citizen have an agenda that is all about expanding the scope of free speech and limiting copyright protection, and they attempt to do so by attacking speech with which they do not agree. I would hate to see your readers think the practice of posting cease and desist letters is okay.In the first decision on this point in the US, the Idaho US District Court has ruled that there IS copyright protection in a lawyer cease and desist. I have blogged on the decision on the Dozier Internet Law Blog , it is being covered by Yahoo news, and you can see the Dozier Internet Law court decision and commentary and judge for yourself. The liberal public interest lawyers who encouraged and organized the many comments on this point from non-lawyers are conspicuously silent on the decision, of course. The least they could do is go back to their many netizens and let them know their advice needs to be "recalled". You would think that notion is not a foreign concept to Ralph Nader and his "Public Citizen" lawyers.

MD
MD

this may not be the place to ask this question but how do you - the person who receives the take down notice from the ISP - find out who filed the claim?

The hypothetical: a woman makes a list of her favorite songs and puts said list on her website. No links, no lyrics or any files are offered, just the names of her top 10 songs/artists. she receives a takedown notice for posting the list from her ISP - but has no idea who filed the claim (unlikely it was the copyright holder since - even if listing your favorite songs = infringement- they are owned by 5-6 different studios).

In order to restore her website which has now been shut down she has to file a counterclaim and give out her personal info (address etc) which will be sent to this unknown person who clearly has misused the DMCA falsely by stating they are the copyright owners of all of Madonnas' songs, along with Matchbox20, NIN and the Who:-). He now has her personal info and phone number and address.

As far as I am aware there is no requirement for the ISP to disclose who filed the original claim. So she is silenced or runs the risk of being stalked.

What am I missing from this equation? Is there really no obligation for the ISP to disclose who filed the original claim? If the ISP follows the provisions of the DMCA they have no liability at all for offering up the personal details in the counterclaim. (scratches head, confused)

MD
MD

this may not be the place to ask this question but how do you - the person who receives the take down notice from the ISP - find out who filed the claim?

The hypothetical: a woman makes a list of her favorite songs and puts said list on her website. No links, no lyrics or any files are offered, just the names of her top 10 songs/artists. she receives a takedown notice for posting the list from her ISP - but has no idea who filed the claim (unlikely it was the copyright holder since - even if listing your favorite songs = infringement- they are owned by 5-6 different studios).

In order to restore her website which has now been shut down she has to file a counterclaim and give out her personal info (address etc) which will be sent to this unknown person who clearly has misused the DMCA falsely by stating they are the copyright owners of all of Madonnas' songs, along with Matchbox20, NIN and the Who:-). He now has her personal info and phone number and address.

As far as I am aware there is no requirement for the ISP to disclose who filed the original claim. So she is silenced or runs the risk of being stalked.

What am I missing from this equation? Is there really no obligation for the ISP to disclose who filed the original claim? If the ISP follows the provisions of the DMCA they have no liability at all for offering up the personal details in the counterclaim. (scratches head, confused)

MD
MD

this may not be the place to ask this question but how do you - the person who receives the take down notice from the ISP - find out who filed the claim?
The hypothetical: a woman makes a list of her favorite songs and puts said list on her website. No links, no lyrics or any files are offered, just the names of her top 10 songs/artists. she receives a takedown notice for posting the list from her ISP - but has no idea who filed the claim (unlikely it was the copyright holder since - even if listing your favorite songs = infringement- they are owned by 5-6 different studios).
In order to restore her website which has now been shut down she has to file a counterclaim and give out her personal info (address etc) which will be sent to this unknown person who clearly has misused the DMCA falsely by stating they are the copyright owners of all of Madonnas' songs, along with Matchbox20, NIN and the Who:-). He now has her personal info and phone number and address.
As far as I am aware there is no requirement for the ISP to disclose who filed the original claim. So she is silenced or runs the risk of being stalked.
What am I missing from this equation? Is there really no obligation for the ISP to disclose who filed the original claim? If the ISP follows the provisions of the DMCA they have no liability at all for offering up the personal details in the counterclaim. (scratches head, confused)

MD
MD

this may not be the place to ask this question but how do you - the person who receives the take down notice from the ISP - find out who filed the claim? The hypothetical: a woman makes a list of her favorite songs and puts said list on her website. No links, no lyrics or any files are offered, just the names of her top 10 songs/artists. she receives a takedown notice for posting the list from her ISP - but has no idea who filed the claim (unlikely it was the copyright holder since - even if listing your favorite songs = infringement- they are owned by 5-6 different studios). In order to restore her website which has now been shut down she has to file a counterclaim and give out her personal info (address etc) which will be sent to this unknown person who clearly has misused the DMCA falsely by stating they are the copyright owners of all of Madonnas' songs, along with Matchbox20, NIN and the Who:-). He now has her personal info and phone number and address. As far as I am aware there is no requirement for the ISP to disclose who filed the original claim. So she is silenced or runs the risk of being stalked. What am I missing from this equation? Is there really no obligation for the ISP to disclose who filed the original claim? If the ISP follows the provisions of the DMCA they have no liability at all for offering up the personal details in the counterclaim. (scratches head, confused)

MD
MD

this may not be the place to ask this question but how do you - the person who receives the take down notice from the ISP - find out who filed the claim? The hypothetical: a woman makes a list of her favorite songs and puts said list on her website. No links, no lyrics or any files are offered, just the names of her top 10 songs/artists. she receives a takedown notice for posting the list from her ISP - but has no idea who filed the claim (unlikely it was the copyright holder since - even if listing your favorite songs = infringement- they are owned by 5-6 different studios). In order to restore her website which has now been shut down she has to file a counterclaim and give out her personal info (address etc) which will be sent to this unknown person who clearly has misused the DMCA falsely by stating they are the copyright owners of all of Madonnas' songs, along with Matchbox20, NIN and the Who:-). He now has her personal info and phone number and address.As far as I am aware there is no requirement for the ISP to disclose who filed the original claim. So she is silenced or runs the risk of being stalked. What am I missing from this equation? Is there really no obligation for the ISP to disclose who filed the original claim? If the ISP follows the provisions of the DMCA they have no liability at all for offering up the personal details in the counterclaim. (scratches head, confused)

MD
MD

this may not be the place to ask this question but how do you - the person who receives the take down notice from the ISP - find out who filed the claim? The hypothetical: a woman makes a list of her favorite songs and puts said list on her website. No links, no lyrics or any files are offered, just the names of her top 10 songs/artists. she receives a takedown notice for posting the list from her ISP - but has no idea who filed the claim (unlikely it was the copyright holder since - even if listing your favorite songs = infringement- they are owned by 5-6 different studios). In order to restore her website which has now been shut down she has to file a counterclaim and give out her personal info (address etc) which will be sent to this unknown person who clearly has misused the DMCA falsely by stating they are the copyright owners of all of Madonnas' songs, along with Matchbox20, NIN and the Who:-). He now has her personal info and phone number and address.As far as I am aware there is no requirement for the ISP to disclose who filed the original claim. So she is silenced or runs the risk of being stalked. What am I missing from this equation? Is there really no obligation for the ISP to disclose who filed the original claim? If the ISP follows the provisions of the DMCA they have no liability at all for offering up the personal details in the counterclaim. (scratches head, confused)

JB
JB

Recliners: I wouldn't worry about this case. However, if they did try, it could still cost the defendant a great deal of time and money to fight back, even if it is an easy win for them. That's the problem with the system, you can sue for anything and the person on the other end has to defend themselves.

JB
JB

Recliners: I wouldn't worry about this case. However, if they did try, it could still cost the defendant a great deal of time and money to fight back, even if it is an easy win for them.

That's the problem with the system, you can sue for anything and the person on the other end has to defend themselves.

JB
JB

Recliners: I wouldn't worry about this case. However, if they did try, it could still cost the defendant a great deal of time and money to fight back, even if it is an easy win for them.

That's the problem with the system, you can sue for anything and the person on the other end has to defend themselves.

JB
JB

Recliners: I wouldn't worry about this case. However, if they did try, it could still cost the defendant a great deal of time and money to fight back, even if it is an easy win for them.
That's the problem with the system, you can sue for anything and the person on the other end has to defend themselves.

JB
JB

Recliners: I wouldn't worry about this case. However, if they did try, it could still cost the defendant a great deal of time and money to fight back, even if it is an easy win for them.That's the problem with the system, you can sue for anything and the person on the other end has to defend themselves.

JB
JB

Recliners: I wouldn't worry about this case. However, if they did try, it could still cost the defendant a great deal of time and money to fight back, even if it is an easy win for them.That's the problem with the system, you can sue for anything and the person on the other end has to defend themselves.

Recliners
Recliners

Seeking to make a legal notice the subject matter of copyright? The man is trying to create a new legal concept here it would appear. I think this would be laughed out of court but then with American courts you never can tell??!!
Meanwhile lets hear it for free speech!! Hear Hear!

Recliners
Recliners

Seeking to make a legal notice the subject matter of copyright? The man is trying to create a new legal concept here it would appear. I think this would be laughed out of court but then with American courts you never can tell??!! Meanwhile lets hear it for free speech!! Hear Hear!

Recliners
Recliners

Seeking to make a legal notice the subject matter of copyright? The man is trying to create a new legal concept here it would appear. I think this would be laughed out of court but then with American courts you never can tell??!!

Meanwhile lets hear it for free speech!! Hear Hear!

Recliners
Recliners

Seeking to make a legal notice the subject matter of copyright? The man is trying to create a new legal concept here it would appear. I think this would be laughed out of court but then with American courts you never can tell??!!

Meanwhile lets hear it for free speech!! Hear Hear!

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  1. [...] Copyright and Cease and Desist Letters | PlagiarismToday 12 Oct 2007 … I have blogged on the decision on the Dozier Internet Law Blog , it is being …Howevever, the Streisand effect basically makes it so that, … http://www.plagiarismtoday.com/…/copyright-and-cease-and-desist-letters/ -Cached - Similar – [...]